Words: Raeven T. Bostic
This past Monday we had a chance to dine and chat with R&B crooner Tank in promotion of his new album Stronger. During the hilariously real and open chat, we learned so much about Tank including his current outlook on life, his opinion on the state of R&B, working with TGT and much more!!
1.) He’s In A “Happy” Place
Tank dished on the inspiration about his new album “Stronger” and the change in the direction
For Stronger, it sounds more upbeat and happy because I’m in a happy place! I’m happy and I wanted my music to reflect that so, of course I have a few ballads but most of it is uptempo because I went in the studio everyday in a good mood.
Working on the album was cool. I mainly worked with Jerry Wonder [The Fugees]. I remember I went into the studio one day to lay down some vocals and he said he wanted me to listen to some songs. So we sat there and he played me four songs and all four songs, I loved and all four songs are on the album!
2.) TGT was the best of times and the worst of times
Tank opened up about working in TGT.
Being on stage with TGT was fun! It was fun because it’s us dudes on stage feeling like kids again. It was just a good time.
Now everything getting to that point was hell [laughs] but it was fun, and I had a good time. I love Tyrese and Genuwine like they’re my brothers.
3.) He’s concerned with the current state of R&B
Tank opens up about his opinion on the current state of R&B and what he considers the last great moment for R&B
R&B has definitely changed. I think the last great moment for R&B was Genuine’s “Pony” Tour at the Budweiser Super Fest. It was Genuwine, Dru Hill, Aaliyah, Me, Bone Thugs -N- Harmony and Mary J. Blige and it was the best tour ever. The fans were just different, the energy, the screams, the everything. When Dru Hill would come on stage, it was pandemonium. That’s back when R&B was selling two, three million a record and selling out arenas. Dru Hill come out on stage, they go crazy, Genuwine on stage, they go crazy, Aaliyah on stage, they go crazy, Mary J. Blige come out on stage they’re going absolutely nuts. You know, the energy was still there for R&B music. And me as a background singer and singing background and a few leads… it’s just not like that anymore.
Now, everything is so sexualized and the passion and the soul just isn’t there anymore. There’s no more longevity because everything is so instant. So on all my albums and this new one, I’m trying to get back to that state of real R&B with the harmonies and the lyrics and everything.
4.) He’s accepted his success
Tank shares his thoughts on how he’s grown as an artist.
Success always helps you grow, and sometimes not always in a positive way because it’ll make you feel as if your sh*t don’t stink!
The thing about my process…nothing for me has really come easy. I never came out the gate with a number one smash record, 300,000 copies the first week…everything for me has always been a grind and work. And I think God knew better than to give me a super big explosion or I’d be somewhere on the roof [laughs].
All I’ve had is my music. I’ve never had mass endorsements and all this other stuff, I just had the music. So this… I really wanted it to be in its rawest and truest form. People only know one side of me and aren’t willing to accept the other, you know. Like nobody knows about the uptempo side of me but there’s tempo on every album. But you get stuck in ballads so people are like “I only wanna hear Tank when I’m about to have sex or I need to get my girl back.” So you get boxed in as an artist and on the radio. You get stuck on Urban AC and I don’t want to live my musical life that way. I want my music to travel around the world.
This process has also helped me to learn to accept myself. I’m like a current classic and there’s no way around it. At the end of the day, it’s going to be respectable content, good singing, choir harmonies, so for me, this is the mountain top.
5.) He gives solid industry advice
Want to be in the industry? Tank offers this advice.
First thing I always say to people who want to be in this business is you have to do it because you love it, because everything is going to run out real quick. This is not the same business as it was – to be somebody now, it costs you so much in the beginning before you become anything else. So to last, it has to be something deeper motivating you in order to really do this, because it takes everything you have.
So unless you really love this and love what you do…don’t mess with it!
Stronger is currently available in stores and on iTunes!!